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Lions Defender Joins HIV/AIDS Fight 

By Leocadia Bongben

Indomitable Lions defender, Sabastien Bassong, who also plays for Premier League’s Tottenham Hotspurs, has joined other prominent African players in a campaign to combat HIV/AIDS and malaria. Bassong signed up to the campaign recently, which is committed to eradicating some of Africa’s worst nightmares, a Britain-based NGO Comic Relief announced in a recent press release.

Some of these African players and stars of the English team participating in the campaign assisted in the production of a series of educative films for Comic Relief diffused in Africa.
The ten-series short film focuses on malaria and HIV/AIDS. Each of the films employs humour to pass across the message that people ought to assume their responsibilities and protect themselves and their families. 

Stars participating in the campaign include: Emmanuel Eboue from Ivory Coast playing for Arsenal, Salif Dioa, Abdoulaye Faye and Amdy Faye, Senegalese players playing for Stock City; Sebastien Bassong of Cameroon playing in Spurs; Mamamdy Sidibe of Mali plying his trade at Stock City; Kolo Toure of Manchester City from Ivory Coast; and Aaron Mokoena, a South African playing for Portsmouth. Rio Ferdinard of Manchester United and Peter Crouch of Spurs all from England have joined their African counterparts to support the cause.

All these players have been immersed in the spirit of films offering enthusiastic performances in celebrating the objectives and counseling spectators to use mosquito bed nets, know their serology status, use condoms and send children to school. The expectation of Comic Relief is for the celebration of objectives to be lived by teams during the matches of the English First Division.

The films would be broadcast for free in 30 sub-Saharan African countries thanks to the support of a marketing firm for the English Premier League till the end of May. Reacting to the initiative, Portsmouth’s Aaron Mokoena said "Football has the power to change lives and players can play a preponderant role in diffusing social messages to fans especially in Africa. The short films are an excellent tool that enables the diffusion of important social messages".

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